Business Finance Solutions has been selected to operate a five-year contract for the administration of the newly launched £50 million Innovate UK Loan pilot programme. This new government approach, to funding later stage innovation, aims to give businesses support to gain the competitive edge and grow the UK's economy. SMEs can borrow between £100,000 and £1 million to finance later stage research and development projects, making the new programme a real breakthrough for the market.
Following a competitive government tender process, BFS has been selected to offer a loan processing, administration and collections service - a full back office solution for the government agency, Innovate UK. Paul Breen, Business Finance Solutions Director, said: “Alternative finance is key to the stimulation and growth of our economy and responsible finance providers have been at the forefront of its delivery since 2002. BFS being selected to provide a service for Innovate UK in this programme is testament to the robust and responsible management and systems that responsible finance providers can now deliver across the UK. We’re very much looking forward to supporting a new generation of innovative and exciting businesses to take their next steps forward.”
Nigel Walker, Head of Innovation Lending, Innovate UK, said: “Innovate UK’s innovation loan pilot programme has been built upon extensive market research. We really want to offer a product that will help businesses with great ideas to scale up and grow. We hope that this scheme will prove popular and effective and look forward to working with BFS as we deliver the pilot.”
Since 2007 Innovate UK has committed over £1.8 billion to innovation, matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding. The Innovation Loans will now add a new lending function to their activities, which will enable companies to access a broader range of financial products to help them succeed. The programme is expected to deliver up to £50m lending to around 100-200 innovative UK businesses in the next 2 years.
For more information on how you can access the fund, please click here.